An Evangelical Pentecostal Naturalist?

dowd-integrity

I'm often described in the mainstream media as an 'Evangelical minister' or ‘Pentecostal preacher', even though I speak far more often in moderate and liberal churches (and in secular settings) than I do in Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Emerging Church venues. Not surprisingly, I've been asked on a number of occasions, by both religious liberals and conservatives, "In what sense do you consider yourself a Pentecostal Evangelical? And how does that mesh with you being an outspoken religious … [Read more...]

Simply Simplicity, Part 2

Today we continue my thoughts on Simplicity from the corresponding chapter in Richard Foster's book, The Celebration of Discipline.  Simplicity "is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle." Both are equally important, because the outward lifestyle without the inner reality is legalism, but the inner reality without the outward lifestyle is not simplicity either, but hypocrisy.  Last week we discussed the attitudes of the inner reality. Today I will share Foster's "ten … [Read more...]

Holding a Space Open for the “Other” (further thoughts)

A few days ago I wrote about holding a space open for the “other”. You might want to start there before reading this post. I’m writing from the perspective of different cultures getting along together and different faiths respecting each other but these principles are also useful in knowing and understanding our children (teenagers for example), divorced spouses, teachers, employers….really anyone it’s difficult to understand and come to a middle ground with. If we don’t hold … [Read more...]

my broken family (Church vs. Art)

J. M. W. Turner Rain, Steam and Speed c.1844

I love art. I teach it. I try to preach it to others. My faith is truly alive due to artists - both old and new. They imbue hope, life, and peace. Rembrandt and Michelangelo, Goya and Picasso, and more recently Wooster. These are my commentaries upon the Scriptures. As a Christian this often lands me in two worlds simultaneously. One foot in church related things and the other in creative arts. I've found the bridge is most often me. I enjoy mixing it up in both worlds, but it would be truly … [Read more...]

Holding a Space Open for the “Other”

How good are you at hearing someone else’s opinion? How long can you hold a space in your heart open for someone who is very “other” than you? I’m new at living in a Middle Eastern country. I’ve been in Qatar 6 months now and although I’m new to it I am also immersed in it. Everyday I’m watching and processing what I’m seeing. Everyday I’m confronted by differences and everyday I’m trying to understand. Everyday I’m reading about the culture around me. This does not make … [Read more...]

I Like the Bible but I’m Not Sure I Know All the Words by Randy Woodley

images

I had been learning to play bass guitar for two years when I was finally asked to be in a real band. The fact that I had a new Fender Jazz bass and an Acoustic 360 watt amp that I had worked and saved for the summer prior didn’t hurt my chances of being asked to be in the band. At 15 years old, I was anxious to show all the stuff that I knew, and as a singer I could remember an incredible number of words of various songs. There I was, for the first time with the band, in one of the member’s … [Read more...]

burning the church…

consciousness has been the topic of conversation for philosophers for centuries. as in, what does it mean to be conscious, aware or enlightened? that last word, for some, conjures up pictures of bald buddhist monks lavished in red and yellow robes contemplating in a temple somewhere, not to mention most likely Asian in descent. this description of enlightenment which is based on our cultural assumptions and experience limits our experience ultimately, not to mention that it does not … [Read more...]

Simply Simplicity, Part 1

Some of my students have recently gotten into the book The Celebration of discipline by Richard Foster, a true classic.  It brought me back to some posts I did a few years ago on the chapter that had the biggest impact on me, the chapter on simplicity.  I’ll share those thoughts in the next couple posts. [As I was recently praying and reading on living a simplified life], I opened Richard Foster's classic work The Celebration of Discipline, as I remembered some of his thoughts on … [Read more...]

Emergent Village Process Theology Conversation preview

On my radio show yesterday I talked with Phillip Clayton about Process Theology - the topic of the  Emergent Village Theological Conversation taking place next week at Claremont School of Theology. I think many of you will find this conversation interesting. If you are interested in attending the event click here to Register for the event. … [Read more...]

Loving Jesus, Hating Religion: A Well-Meaning False Dichotomy

The last two weeks has seen a new viral sensation take over our computer screens. A spoken word artist named Jefferson Bethke, who goes by the handle "Bball1989," released a video on Youtube that has, in less than two weeks, received more than fifteen million hits called "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus." So regardless of what any of us personally thinks about what he's saying, it's incumbent on us to listen up. For starters, there's some really good stuff in his message. He … [Read more...]


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